The odds of getting into geology are very good. Because people have woken up to our dwindling natural resources and environmental problems, career opportunities have become more diverse and abundant. Employment is particularly strong in engineering geology, environmental geology and water resources. Over one third of geologists become a scientist or researcher. Typically, researchers or scientists go into the environmental industry. They may oversee engineering structures or monitor environmental pollution. Engineering geology, hydrogeology, mining, federal agencies and petroleum companies are their largest employer.
Unfortunately, a booming geology biz means that our natural resources are declining. Fracturing (fracking) for natural gas is a controversial method used to meet our energy needs. Companies force chemicals and high-pressure water into shale rock, which causes the rock to emit natural gas. The water used to extract the gas must be deposited somewhere. While fracking helps decrease our dependence on coal and oil, it comes with a price. There are numerous environmental concerns that have been the result of improper waste disposal. In fact, there have been many lawsuits popping up from the general public who is in an uproar about poisoned groundwater. Not to mention the fact that the U.S. Geological Survey discovered earthquakes are directly linked to the wells used to deposit liquid waste from hydraulic fracturing. The recent earthquakes in Oklahoma and Ohio are examples of what is yet to come. Well played, Mayans.
Both sides of the issue employ geologists. Companies need geologists to help them find shale deposits, and their opponents need to employ geologists to collect environment impact data. Looks like you’re going to be caught in a tug-of-war.